Caroline DeFilippo, MD

defilippoAssociate Medical Director, Internal Medicine, Westmed

“ESPP provided a wonderful foundation to help me pursue my passions in both health and the environment. I love that I can understand the science behind climate change and that I can then apply that information to the shifting patterns of disease. As a practicing primary care physician, when a patient asks me about mosquito born illness, I can answer them about the practical aspects of which mosquito species might be in a certain region of the globe but also put the mosquito lifecycle in context for them. As our globe continues to grow smaller and illness spreads in new dimensions, this background is critical to help me engage patients on a higher level.
   I chose to practice internal medicine and pursue a masters degree in public health after my undergraduate studies because it provided me with the greatest opportunity to use these skills both with individuals and broad communities. I now am in a position where I can influence patients through direct education but also guide my fellow physicians through programmatic changes about the best ways to combat chronic and emerging diseases. Being a physician leader in a larger private practice affords me the flexibility to apply these skills simultaneously. In addition, my knowledge of policy has been critical in guiding my understand of the changing health care policy arena. I find that so many of the principles that I learned about in introductory government and economics classes, continue to inform me as I follow the changing landscape of healthcare.
   I don’t think I could have projected upon graduation that I would have been a practicing physician many years later. However, I can confidently say that the ESPP concentration provided me with the broad set of skills in a multidisciplinary fashion that has propelled my varied yet overlapping interests in the environment, healthcare and policy. I am grateful to have enhanced my education with such a strong foundation.”
-ESPP '01